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Photos: A visit to a Costa Rican Cabécar indigenous community

SAN JOSÉ CABÉCAR, Limón – Visiting the San José Cabécar indigenous community, located in the mountains of Talamanca, Limón, is not something many people have the chance to do. This community is one of the few in Costa Rica that has maintained a significant part of its identity; they still use natural medicine, hunting and fishing techniques, traditional cultural activities and language.

Getting there is not easy. I started my trip in the tourist town of Puerto Viejo, in the southern Caribbean, took a bus to the town of Bribrí, another bus to Suretka, and from there a boat to the town of Amubri. Here I found a local radio station called La Voz de Talamanca, which offered me a place to stay overnight since it was already getting dark. They also helped me find a guide who could take me to San José Cabécar, my final destination.

I left Amubri early the next morning, took a boat to a small town called Sepecue, and then another bus to an even smaller town called Sibodi. There I met my guide, Rodrid García, a 19-year-old Bribrí who knew the area perfectly from trips he took with his father when he was a child. We walked for eight hours up the mountain, climbed walls and crossed rivers before making it to the Cabécar community, an area almost untouched, and where money is worthless. Local residents grow and hunt what they eat, and the sun is their clock.

Contact Alberto Font at

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No se porque tienen que ir a meterce los misionarios ahí. No todos el mundo quiere orarle a un Dios blanco. Dejen que vivan en paz.

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Marvelous Marv

Pura vida. Via con dios…
El dios que sabes.

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Jonathan Yoakum

That Tello family is so genuine and beautiful.
Their eyes contain honesty. A missed thing in my general existence.

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Steven Crane

Gracias Isabella ! Necisitamos protejer a los indigenas.

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Raymond Rippman

i”ve been to the edge of puerta viejo-what is amazing is that this is strait up into the jungle!

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Brian Bucek

lol, we took helicopters as private missionaries, and were demonized in the newspapers as paramilitary. I slept on that floor in the fifth picture, but the other nights used a hammock just outside of their flat area. The man in the first picture is in my cover photo. Sweet.

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Isabella Rocha

I love this article!! but… SHHH!!, don’t tell the white man where there are more easy pray/victims. Bravo for them, the Costa Rica Goverment has its true, raw history in these comunities; learn to value these people Mr. President!!

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Pereira Molina Rolando


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Rodrigo Vargas Mora

Amazing! I would like to go someday

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